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Garden Living: “Green makes you feel good”

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“Covid-19 hit. We went into lockdown and everything stopped. When Horeca shut down, all our orders to Horeca stopped immediately. But bills had to be paid - for all the stock of products we had bought for the entire season (April-October). That’s the point where you urgently need more liquidity,” explains Eva Wuite, founder and manager of GardenLiving.

GardenLiving is “a green oasis, a one-stop shop for our customers” (both B2B and B2C) offering indoor and outdoor plants and garden related products and services.

The business sets itself apart from competition as the first green lifestyle concept in Finland. “We wanted to give Finnish horticulture a different touch, something out of the ordinary. We wanted to build a space where the client could get both services and products. With our in-house expertise and know-how, we can deliver outstanding design from landscape architecture, interior green design to garden maintenance and revamping,” she adds.

Eva, who is half-Dutch, half-Finnish, gets her inspiration from Finnish nature and the trends in the Netherlands. “The Dutch horticulture market is world renown and there is a lot of potential for development in Finland,” she says.

The business managed to navigate the challenging pandemic crisis with the help of an EU-guaranteed loan through Finnvera, backed by the EIF: “We needed this extra loan to cover this difficult period. It helped bridge the gap and also allowed us to expand our services as well as planning for e-commerce as the second wave intensified. The cashflow gave us more time to react.”

Despite the sharp drop in sales orders in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on the B2B side of the business, demand on the B2C front has increased: “As the months went by and people stayed at home,” Eva explains, “they started to spend more time taking care of their gardens. They started to value different things and put more effort into making their home a nice place to spend considerable amounts of time. So that helped a lot.”

With shorter winters up north, Eva is confident that the business has a lot of potential going forward. “If there is one thing that I can tell you for sure, it’s that green makes you feel good,” she concludes.

Company: Garden living (Finland)

Type of business: amenity horticulture

EIF financing: COSME LGF COVID-19 measures, EFSI

Financial intermediary: Finnvera

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Finland, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/fi

 

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